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February 26 2014

Living in Leicester is a nightmare! Half the UK's bad dreams are reported in the Midlands town


Living in Leicester, Leeds and Norwich is enough to give you nightmares according to dream research.

Residents of these places reported having the most bad dreams, while people in Swansea, Hull and Nottingham had the most positive dreams.

The data was taken from an online tool called Jar of Dreams that scans tweets for dream-related keywords.

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February 26 2014

World begins 2014 with unusual number of extreme weather events


There have been heatwaves in Slovenia and Australia, snow in Vietnam and the return of the polar vortex to North America. Britain has had its wettest winter in 250 years but temperatures in parts of Russia and the Arctic have been 10C above normal. Meanwhile, the southern hemisphere has had the warmest start to a year ever recorded, with millions of people sweltering in Brazilian and southern African cities.

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February 26 2014

Chinese man first to sue government over smog


A Chinese man in a smoggy northern city has become the first person in the country to sue the government for failing to curb air pollution, a state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday.

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February 25 2014

'Biggest observed meteorite impact' hits Moon


Scientists say they have observed a record-breaking impact on the Moon.

Spanish astronomers spotted a meteorite with a mass of about half a tonne crashing into the lunar surface last September.

They say the collision would have generated a flash of light so bright that it would have been visible from Earth.

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February 25 2014

No Mars For Muslims? Mars One Asks Imams To Rescind Fatwa


Martian colonization is a risky proposition. So risky, in fact, that a group of Islamic leaders in the United Arab Emirates issued a religious ruling saying Muslims should not go to the Red Planet. The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) ruling compares a Mars mission to suicide, and says that those who attempt it can expect the same consequences in the afterlife.

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February 25 2014

Sun Erupts with Huge X-Class Flare, Biggest of 2014


Solar maximum may be starting to wane, but the sun has no intention on slipping into the stellar doldrums quietly. At 7:50 p.m. EST on Monday (00:50 UTC, Feb. 25), a sunspot emerging from the southeastern limb of our nearest star unleashed its magnetic fury, exploding with an X5-class flare.

X-class solar flares are the most powerful classification of flare and, if pointing toward Earth, can cause radiation storms and impact our planet’s upper atmosphere, interfering with satellites and global communications. In this case, however, the flare erupted perpendicular to the direction of Earth, so its impact will be minimal.

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February 25 2014

Scientists Make Largest Quark, Solving A 20-Year Mystery


Top quarks are the heaviest of subatomic particles, and are prime components of all matter--everything from mayonnaise to your big toe. But while they are in virtually everything, they are impossible to isolate from matter under ordinary circumstances. To study them, you need to "make" them by running particles into each other at ultra-high speeds, billions or trillions of times.

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February 25 2014

Neanderthals Faced Extinction Before Humans Appeared


Western Europe may have undergone a population crisis during a cold stretch of the Neanderthal era, a new study of mitochondrial DNA sequences suggests.

"The fact that Neanderthals in Western Europe were nearly extinct, but then recovered long before they came into contact with modern humans came as a complete surprise to us," study co-author Love Dalén, associate professor at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, told Phys.org.

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February 25 2014

Japanese archaeologists discover 3,000-year-old tomb with vivid murals in Egypt


Japanese archaeologists have unearthed a near-pristine tomb of a high-ranking Egyptian official who served as a temple's chief brewer 3,000 years ago.

The site, on the west bank of the Nile near Luxor, dates from the 12th century B.C. and has beautifully preserved murals in vivid colors.

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February 25 2014

Mystery Voynich manuscript gets preliminary alphabet


For nearly a decade, linguists and cryptologists have obsessed over the medieval Voynich manuscript, vigorously debating whether it represents a long-lost language, or gibberish. Now some of its symbols have been matched to sounds.

Stephen Bax at the University of Bedfordshire, UK, has mapped only 14 symbols so far, but some linguists are following the development of his preliminary "Voynich alphabet" with interest.

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February 25 2014

Indus Script Based on Sanskrit Language


Inscriptions on Indus seals give details about animals sacrificed and nature of ceremony. Some ceremonies were performed for obtaining remission of sins and others were for pleasing the souls of dead ancestors (Pithru Karma ceremony).

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February 25 2014

Brain scans show jazz musicians ‘speak’ music


When jazz musicians “trade fours” they use parts of the brain linked to the structure of spoken language, but not those tied to spoken meaning.

“Trading fours” is a jazz pattern in which musicians play brief alternating solos, usually four bars in length, introducing new melodies in response to each other’s ideas, and then elaborating on and modifying them over the course of a performance.

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February 25 2014

Did Nazis Study Insects for Use in Biological Warfare?


Was the Nazi SS studying insects with the intent of launching a bug-based attack? A new analysis of archived documents concludes that, yes, they were.

Scholars have known for decades the feared SS (Schutzstaffel or "protection squadron") in Nazi Germany had established an entomological research institute at the Dachau concentration camp. Documents that survived World War II describe experiments related to biological warfare.

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February 25 2014

Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so…


It's hard to know where to start with Ray Kurzweil. With the fact that he takes 150 pills a day and is intravenously injected on a weekly basis with a dizzying list of vitamins, dietary supplements, and substances that sound about as scientifically effective as face cream: coenzyme Q10, phosphatidycholine, glutathione?.

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February 25 2014

2029: the year when robots will have the power to outsmart their makers


Computers will be cleverer than humans by 2029, according to Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering.

The entrepreneur and futurologist has predicted that in 15 years' time computers will be more intelligent than we are and will be able to understand what we say, learn from experience, make jokes, tell stories and even flirt.

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February 25 2014

It's Time to Accept That Elephants, Like Us, Are Empathetic Beings


Elephants, we all know, are in peril. We humans are waging what amounts to a war against them because they have something we want and cannot make on our own: ivory.

Earlier this month, we learned that the West African country of Gabon has lost more than half its elephants—11,000—in the last ten years alone.

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February 25 2014

Vegetarian Diets May Reduce Blood Pressure


A vegetarian diet may help lower blood pressure, according to a recent study HealthDay reported.

Researchers from the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan found that eating a vegetarian diet could be a could way to treat high blood pressure without medication.

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February 25 2014

Could dinosaur-age DNA cure GOUT? 90 million-year-old protein could treat painful inflammation


Resurrecting ancient DNA that was around when dinosaurs walked the Earth could help scientists find a cure for gout.

Researchers in Atlanta believe a 90 million-year-old version of an enzyme known as uricase could better treat the disease, which causes painful, swollen joints.

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